International Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS)

Metadata Updated: March 10, 2021

International Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) consists of digital data set DSI-1173, archived at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). ICOADS is the world's largest collection of marine surface in situ observations with 185+ million records for 1784 through the present. ICOADS is developed and maintained as a cooperative effort between NSF's National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): specifically its Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC), in conjunction with the Cooperative Institute for Research Sciences (CIRES) of the University of Colorado, and its National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).ICOADS is a collection of global marine surface observations from 1784-present. The data is originally from Surface Marine Observations, DSI-1129, (C00242). This data set is in the process of being archived; the earliest years are not yet available. NCDC plans to eventually make the entire data set available. The coverage is global and sampling density varies depending on date and position relative to major ocean shipping routes. ICOADS data are made available through observations that are taken primarily from ships (merchant, ocean research, fishing, navy, etc.) and moored and drifting buoys. Each report contains individual observations of meteorological and oceanographic variables, such as sea surface and air temperatures, winds, pressure, humidity, wet bulb, dew point, ocean waves and cloudiness.Also available from NCDC, but separate from DSI-1173, are monthly statistics of observations. The monthly time series are available from 119 ships or buoys dating back to November, 2001. After the observations are summarized the data are not interpolated or analyzed to fill data voids. The spatial coverage varies depending on the date and position relative to major ocean shipping routes. A monthly summary for an area box includes ten statistics (e.g. mean, median, standard deviation, etc.) for 22 observed and computed variables (e.g. sea surface and air temperature, wind, pressure, humidity, cloudiness, etc.). Monthly data is available in an ASCII table format.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date March 10, 2021
Metadata Updated Date March 10, 2021
Data Update Frequency irregular

Metadata Source

Harvested from Commerce Non Spatial Data.json Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date March 10, 2021
Metadata Updated Date March 10, 2021
Publisher DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (Point of Contact)
Unique Identifier Unknown
Identifier gov.noaa.ncdc:C00606
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2015-08-17T00:00:00
Public Access Level public
Data Update Frequency irregular
Bureau Code 006:48
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
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Program Code 006:059
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 898d838204d28c60101ce2ddee17b43128c09634
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -180.0, -90.0, 180.0, -90.0, 180.0, 90.0, -180.0, 90.0, -180.0, -90.0}

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